Dead Dog Blues
By Neal Barrett, Jr.
Nothing ever happens in Pharaoh, Texas…
Drunks and missing auto parts headline the local crime wave until a barking dead dog shows up in millionaire Max Coomer’s backyard. Then Coomer himself is discovered frosty cold and very dead, running for fame and glory forever down the gridiron at Pharaoh High.
That’s just the beginning of the mayhem that erupts in a sleepy Texas town — and the start of temporary constable Jack Track’s nightmarish pursuit of a maniac who doesn’t like anyone in Pharaoh, Texas.
There are enough bizarre characters in Dead Dog Blues to convince any reader to steer clear of small towns. There’s Jack’s best friend, Earl Murphy, a black man who made a fortune on Wall Street and sleeps in his white Aston-Martin Lagonda by Jack’s creek. There’s George, the catfish mogul, and cheery funeral director Eddie Trost — plus an ever-growing cast of the local missing and dead.
Jack is content with lovely Cecily Benét, the frozen-yogurt queen, until Max Coomer’s widow, Millie Jean, decides to fan the flames of her high-school romance with Jack — an affair that turns into double trouble when Millies jailbait daughter, Smoothy, takes a run at Jack herself.
Author Neat Barrett, Jr., showed us he knows how to stir up an exciting blend of humor and suspense in his first mystery, Pink Vodka Blues (SMP, 1992). With Dead Dog Blues, he takes his place as one of the most talented writers in the field.